Graham MacFarlane

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Businessman became ‘obsessed’ with child abuse after sauna visit

Published July 16, 2013 by misty534

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A businessman who hoarded thousands of child abuse images and filmed a 13-year-old girl changing her clothes has been jailed for more than three years.

Graham Macfarlane was snared after police intercepted an online conversation about sharing the images with a man in Canada. Officers then raided his house, where they found more than 4600 child abuse pictures and 759 videos.

They also discovered a video showing a young girl changing, which Macfarlane admitted he had made by hiding his mobile phone in his trouser pockets before hanging them up with the phone poking out and the video camera switched on.

The 57-year-old, who ran a building maintenance firm before his arrest, told detectives he had become “obsessed” with viewing images of child abuse after being introduced to them by clients at an Edinburgh sauna.

A court heard that Macfarlane shared the images and videos with people online, on some occasions while his young granddaughter was present.

Sheriff George Way imposed a five-year and four month extended sentence on Macfarlane, meaning he will spend two years on licence when he is released from the 40-month jail term.

The sheriff also noted his “disappointment” that Macfarlane had complained about the “poor quality” of the video he took of the young girl rather than showing any empathy for the damage caused to her.

He said: “The content of the images was totally disgusting and I won’t even attempt to describe it in detail, but it showed extremely young girls in scenes of rape and bondage.

“You went to great planning to avoid detection, and only a custodial sentence will mark the court’s efforts to denounce this vile trade.”

Fiscal depute Isma Mukhtar told Dundee Sheriff Court that 67 of the still images and 25 of the videos found on Macfarlane’s computers were at the top end of the scale used to measure their severity.

Macfarlane, of Seagate, Dundee, admitted to three charges of downloading and distributing indecent images of children and that on January 13 2012 he recorded a girl under the age of 16 removing her clothing with the intent of him or others viewing the image.

Rosemary Scott, defending, said: “He hadn’t thought through the seriousness of this, but now he’s fully aware of it.”


STV News

Dundee man caught with child abuse images facing ‘significant custodial sentence’

Published June 5, 2013 by misty534



A 57-year-old Dundee man caught with a hoard of child abuse images has been told to expect a “significant” jail sentence.


Graham MacFarlane wept in the dock as the court was told how he accumulated and shared hundreds of videos and thousands of pictures, some involving children as young as one.

Police also found mobile phone footage MacFarlane had secretly recorded of a girl undressing.

Some of the downloaded material was at the highest level of the scale used to measure child abuse images.

MacFarlane, of Seagate, admitted three charges on indictment that between June 30 2011 and June 30 2012 he downloaded and distributed indecent images of children and on January 13 2012 he recorded, without consent, a girl under the age of 16 removing her clothing with the intent of him or others viewing the image.

MacFarlane sat with his head in his hands as details of the offences were read out in court on Tuesday.

He was bailed on the conditions he has no unsupervised contact with children or accesses the internet. Sentence was deferred until July 16.

Fiscal depute Isma Mukhtar said MacFarlane had started downloading and sharing the material after being introduced to child abuse images by people he met at a sauna in Edinburgh.

She said: “In June 2012 the accused first came to the attention of police as a consequence of him conversing with a person in Canada on a chatroom about sharing images of children.

“Tayside Police detained him at his home and recovered two laptops, a notebook, a hard drive and a mobile phone.

“He said some of the equipment would have indecent images on them, including some of children under the age of five. In total, 4,646 still images and 759 videos were recovered.”

Dundee Sheriff Court heard MacFarlane had a shared folder on his computer where other online users could look at and distribute the images.

He told officers he had never had sexual contact with a child and all the computer equipment had been kept in his van.

MacFarlane’s solicitor Rosemary Scott said her client admitted downloading the images and had fully cooperated with the police.

She said: “He very much regrets the offences and is aware of how seriously the court views this and the children in these pictures are victims. He is very ashamed and embarrassed.”

Ms Scott told the court other users had to be invited to view the shared files and they were not readily accessible on the internet.

Sheriff George Way told MacFarlane: “What’s most concerning is there are 25 moving images.

“You should be under no illusions here. I can conceive of nothing except considering a significant custodial sentence in this case.

“With regards to bail, I am going to give you time to put your affairs in order.”


by Graeme Ogston